Quaife Hobbs clinches fourth Auto GP win in Portimão‏

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took the fourth success of his Auto GP season in Portimão, equaling the number of wins clinched by Romain Grosjean in the 2010 Championship. The Briton of SuperNova didn’t have the best start from pole position, but that was the only tough moment of his race.

When the lights went off it was Facu Regalia who got away really well and took the lead, entering Turn 1 ahead of the whole pack, but he didn’t manage to build a gap; this meant that at the end of Lap 1 Quaife-Hobbs could make the most of the joint effect of slipstream and Overboost to pass him and take P1. From then on Adrian started to pull away steadily, making the most of a set of used soft Kumhos that held on really well until lap 11, when he elected to pit. At that point his advantage on the group was around the 6” mark, and after rejoining the track he extended that lead up to 9 seconds, crossing the line with no worries.Behind him, the fight for second place was much more exciting, with Pål Varhaug edging Sergey Sirotkin by just 0.6! The Russian had a stunning start that took him from sixth to third place, and then inherited second when Regalia went wide on lap 3. Sergey seemed set for a second place finish but his plans were spoilt by an amazing drive by Varhaug and a good strategy by Virtuosi UK: the british team decided to pit as early as lap 4 to race in clean air, and this allowed the Norwegian driver to make the most of his car’s potential. This meant that when Sirotkin also came out of the pits after the mandatory pit-stop on cold tyres, Varhaug was right on his tail and could pass him easily; Sergey tried to answer immediately and the pair was wheel to wheel for a couple of corners before the position where settled. The driver of Euronova didn’t give up until the end of the race but he had no real chances of overtaking Varhaug and had to settle for 3rd.Fourth place went to Victor Guerin after a race-long duel with Sergio Campana: the two were close for the whole 18 laps, and a better pit-stop by SuperNova allowed the Brazilian to secure fourth spot ahead of the Italian racer. After his great start, Regalia’s pace faded a bit and the Argentinian of Campos Racing closed the afternoon in sixth place, ahead of Daniel de Jong and Chris Van der Drift. The Manor MP due closed the race ahead of a consistent Juan Carlos Sistos, already in the points at his Auto GP.Giancarlo Serenelli rounded the top-ten ahead of Antonio Spavone, whose performances were hampered by a bad flu. Behind the Italian the pack was closed by Max Snegirev and Francesco Dracone, while Sten Pentus had to retire for a driveshaft failure.Portimao, 2 June 2012, Race 11    Adrian Quaife-Hobbs    Super Nova International          18 laps in 29'24”9992    Pal Varhaug                Virtuosi UK                            +9”0443    Sergey Sirotkin            Euronova                              +9”6344    Victor Guerin              Super Nova International          +13”5735    Sergio Campana          MLR71                                  +15”3096    Facu Regalia               Campos Racing                       +16”8337    Daniel De Jong            Manor MP                             +17”2838    Chris Van Der Drift       Manor MP                              +18”1439    Juan Carlos Sistos        Zele Racing                           +27”88710  Giancarlo Serenelli        Ombra                                  +31”32211  Antonio Spavone          Euronova                              +41”75912  Max Snegirev               Campos Racing                      +52”00713  Francesco Dracone        Virtuosi UK                            +55”729NC  Sten Pentus                Zele RacingNC  Giuseppe Cipriani         Campos RacingNC  Michele La Rosa           MLR71Fastest Lap: lap 16 by Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in 1'35”288, avg 175.79 kph


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